Exhibitions

Sarah Morris Looks to Rio for "Bye Bye Brazil" at White Cube London

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Sarah Morris's new show "Bye Bye Brazil" will be up at White Cube in London until September 29. (All images by Ben Westoby, courtesy White Cube.)
Sarah Morris's new show "Bye Bye Brazil" will be up at White Cube in London until September 29. (All images by Ben Westoby, courtesy White Cube.)
The exhibition features the artist's signature abstracted "diagram" paintings. Her "Rio" series takes inspiration from Brazilian cultural reference points like Oscar Niemeyer, fruit juice bars, and Carnival.
The exhibition features the artist's signature abstracted "diagram" paintings. Her "Rio" series takes inspiration from Brazilian cultural reference points like Oscar Niemeyer, fruit juice bars, and Carnival.
The paintings titles refer to Rio's neighborhoods, sites, music, films.
The paintings titles refer to Rio's neighborhoods, sites, music, films.
A still from "Rio" (2012).
A still from "Rio" (2012).
The 88-minute-long "Rio" is the artist's 11th film; she considers filmmaking and painting equal parts of her practice.
The 88-minute-long "Rio" is the artist's 11th film; she considers filmmaking and painting equal parts of her practice.
The film captures famed characteristics of a city on the brink through its beaches, favelas, and modernist architecture.
The film captures famed characteristics of a city on the brink through its beaches, favelas, and modernist architecture.

The sprawling city of Rio de Janeiro serves as the inspiration for Sarah Morris's new exhibition at White Cube in London, titled "Bye Bye Brazil." Up through September 29, the show's centerpiece is Rio, a film exploring the city's beaches and factories, its modernist architecture and overcrowded favelas. In the 88-minute-long work, Morris also includes visits to famed sites like architect Oscar Niemeyer's office (filmed before his recent death), the notorious Carnival, and the mayor's headquarters.

The 16 "Rio" paintings on view complement those filmed discoveries with abstracted "diagrams." Like visual codexes, they take the city's rich exterior and interior life as jumping-off points for their interwoven planes, curves, and colors—a palette of bright lime greens, pinks, and tangerine oranges, set off stark black. The title of the exhibition comes from filmmaker Carlos Diegues's flamboyant 1979 movie about the escapades of a traveling sideshow's members at a time when Rio was considered the height of modernity. Morris's exhibition subtly reworks and recasts those original inclinations of Rio as a contemporary city.

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